It’s a bit of a ballet involving boats.
The Burlington Sailing and Boating Club performed its annual “lift-in” on Thursday marking the start of the summer sailing season. Approximately 75 boats were lifted from storage on one side of the pier, sailed across the sky to the other side, then gently settled into the waters at Aldershot’s LaSalle Park Marina.
“It’s a major day for us. It’s one of the pivotal days for the club” said Ted Badger, former Club Commodore and one of the people in charge of the event.
The lift-in is a day-long job requiring dozens of volunteers and a 400-ton crane. “There’s a lot of lead in those keels”, said Badger.
The weather turned out to be nearly perfect since the work can only be done when there is no potential for storms or high winds.
Safety is a major consideration, so the pier is closed to vehicular traffic during the dance of the boats. All the volunteer crew members take part in a safety training session prior to the actual day. All are required to wear safety boots and helmets.
“We’ve been doing this for years. The pattern is set. There’s a bit of a formula”, said Badger.
Returning to the water this season will be particularly satisfying for the members of the Club since they did not sail last year due to Covid, consequently this year will be their first opportunity to experience the new wave-break that was installed at the Marina in 2019.
The dance of the boats is performed in reverse each autumn.
By Rick Craven